The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has conducted some of its biggest changes yet in line with the desires of the party’s organizational bodies, party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has stated amid the rejection of some of his plans to reshape the CHP’s internal structure.
“The organization has been asking for change. We have gone through the biggest change. The Party Assembly [PM] has changed, to a large extent. I have issued a 104-person list for the 52-member PM. There are names [from the 104-person list] that made it to the PM, while there are names that made it to the PM without being put on this list. Other than five of them, all members of the MYK [Central Executive Board] were from the list,” Kılıçdaroğlu told daily Hürriyet in his first evaluation of the results of the convention.
“I will name the deputy chairs of the party according to topics and their expertise on these topics. There will be a new era in organization. All memberships will be renewed and there will be active and passive members. Active members will be able to vote in primary elections and conventions. In the shortest time, we will hold a convention for a change of the regulations. We will more focus on women and youth from now on” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Selin Sayek Böke to be new spokesperson
According to sources, the results of the elections for the Party Assembly have also affected Kılıçdaroğlu’s plans to shape the party management, including its spokesperson. Kılıçdaroğlu was considering appointing deputy leader Enis Berberoğlu as the spokesperson of the party, but he is now considering Selin Sayek Böke for the position after Berberoğlu failed to be elected to the PM.
The new Central Decision-Making Council is set to consist of between 10 and 13 deputy leaders, but the PM members who were not on Kılıçdaroğlu’s list will not be given any post at the management level. Böke will be responsible for the economy in addition to her status as the spokeswoman, former Mosul Consul-General Öztürk Yılmaz will handle foreign policy, Hakkı Süha Okay will oversee organizational affairs, Haluk Koç will address financial issues and Osman Çetin Budak will liaise with the business world.
‘Criticizing Erdoğan my duty as opposition leader’
Kılıçdaroğlu also answered questions on prosecutors’ launching of a probe into remarks describing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a “so-called dictator.”
“I haven’t been surprised, I was expecting it. We will never keep quiet if they assume that they will silence us with this investigation. Somebody needed to remind the president of the need for him to withdraw to his constitutional boundaries. The YSK [Supreme Election Board] hasn’t done this. As the prime minister, Mr. [Ahmet] Davutoğlu didn’t tell the president that he should remain impartial either. As the main opposition leader, this duty fell on my shoulders. The style was harsh but as long as the president does not withdraw to his constitutional boundaries in regard to impartiality and as long as he acts like the AKP leader, this style will gradually get harsher” he said.
“The AKP members’ and “pool media’s” united defense of the president, as if Erdoğan is not speaking and responding, is evidence that Erdoğan is not impartial” Kılıçdaroğlu said, using an expression to describe corporate owners whose media properties are in the service of the government.
“It indicates that Erdoğan is not our president but is only the president of the AKP. All that’s going on has shown that those newspapers and televisions are under the tutelage of Erdoğan” he said.